Bengaluru-headquartered cab hailing company Ola is now looking to strengthen its cab sharing business with an investment in Gurugram-based carpooling startup sRide.
A media report citing sources claimed that Ola is in diligence stage discussions to invest up to $4.2 Mn (INR 30 Cr) in sRide for a 26% stake or more. At the same time, some other venture capital firms are also reportedly looking to invest in the company along with Ola in the same or a larger round of funding.
An email query sent to Ola didn’t elicit any response till the time of publication.
sRide: Carpooling Since 2014
Founded in 2014 by Lakshna Chadha Jha and Nitin Chadha, sRide is a corporate carpooling app to help users share the cost of travel, reduce travel time and increase mobility.
It had last secured $1 Mn in seed funding in 2016 after an undisclosed seed round in 2014.
It caters to a few cities which include Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Pune, and Bengaluru. Users log in to the app and indicate whether they are a passenger (rider) looking for a ride or a vehicle owner offering a ride.
The app matches riders with vehicle owners in real time, and the cost of the trip, which is shared between the number of riders in the same vehicle, is paid to the vehicle owner. It has also tied up with a number of corporates such as Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, Wipro, MasterCard and Capgemini.
Ola: Expanding Portfolio And Presence
Ola has been expanding its horizon with experiments in urban mobility. Earlier in December 2018, Ola had committed to invest $100 Mn in scooter sharing app Vogo and in turn, allowed its 150 million users to start booking Vogo scooters from its app.
Ola has anyway been dilling up its kitty with billions of dollars and had last secured $100 Mn commitment from Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Investment as part of its $1Bn Series J funding round. The fund raising is important for the company at a time when the company is bullish on expanding its operation in international markets.
Ola is currently operational in New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia etc and may expand to UK soon.
Urban Mobility In India
India’s urban mobility problems, compounded by rising vehicles and unplanned city roads, have reached an alarming stage. Add to that the fact that India’s pollution levels are some of the highest in the world and India is at the edge of an urban crisis.
A study by the global research organisation World Resources Institute (WRI) found that India’s car-sharing industry was growing rapidly and it could potentially reduce car driving in the long term.
Also, according to a Statista report, revenue in the ride-sharing segment amounts to $371 Mn in 2018 and is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2018-2022) of 19.6%, resulting in a market volume of $761 Mn by 2022.